Rare Element Resources (TSE:RES) (AMEX:REE) said Thursday that it received drill results that could potentially expand resources at the Bull Hill and Whitetail Ridge targets, part of its wholly owned Bear Lodge rare earth project, located in northeastern Wyoming.
At Bull Hill, the company drilled three holes to test the eastern and southeastern limits of the deposit. Hole RES11-09 intersected 2.64 percent total rare earth oxides (TREO) over 71.5 feet.
In addition to testing these same limits, Rare Element said its four drill holes completed on the Bull Hill West target were also intended to expand the resource to the west, across the drainage in the area.
Hole RES11-39 intersected 2.77 percent TREO over 172 feet, 3.89 percent TREO over 29.5 feet, 2.31 percent TREO over 68 feet, and 3.71 percent TREO over 72 feet. It also hit 32.5 feet grading 2.99 percent TREO, and 64.5 feet grading 3.71 percent TREO.
Also on the Bull Hill West area, RES11-42 returned 37 feet grading 2.03 percent TREO, and 43.5 feet at 2.44 percent TREO.
At the Whitetail Ridge area, where Rare Element drilled four holes, RES11-30 intersected 18.5 feet at 2.13 percent TREO, 25 feet at 2.44 percent TREO, and 89.5 feet at 3.64 percent TREO.
Meanwhile, RES11-45 found 60.5 feet at 4.79 percent TREO, 21 feet at 2.72 percent TREO, and 24 feet at 2.22 percent TREO.
"The current results indicate that the Bull Hill mineralized zone may continue to the west into the Bull Hill West Target area, and the next resource estimate should reflect this expansion of the Bull Hill deposit resource," commented VP of exploration, Dr. Jim Clark.
"Similarly, the results from Whitetail Ridge also indicate a probable significant expansion of that resource. We continue to be encouraged by the upside potential of the Bear Lodge REE District."
In other news, Rare Element said it completed two pilot plant metallurgical tests during the year. The tests involved about nine tons of high grade rare earth elements (REEs), grading between four and eight percent rare earth oxide (REO), and four tons of stockwork REEs, grading between two and four percent REO.
COO Jaye T. Pickarts said: "We are very pleased with the progress that we made on the pilot plant and its results to date.
"We have been able to run multiple tests at the pilot plant and these data will enable us to configure the optimal operating system going forward.
"As we analyze the data and conduct more pilot plant test runs next year, we anticipate more good news from the company on metallurgical and operational results."
Rare Element said initial results from the metallurgical tests have been promising, with results expected in early 2012, it added, once detailed analyses have been completed.
The company will also conduct additional testing in 2012 to help in the development of the design criteria to scale up the project to commercial operating levels.
The results of these tests will also be included in the pre-feasibility study, which is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2012.